Apr 23, 2021

Over the past year, we had a rare opportunity to spend more time with ourselves. There were less plans being made due to the pandemic, and we were encouraged to isolate ourselves. The world felt like it stopped as some of the busiest intersections in the world had no cars in them. Movie theaters closed along with restaurants. Even if you could go places, there were no places to gather with others. The one place left to meet new people and connect was on the internet. Early on, I noticed there were spontaneous broadcasts arising on Instagram from artists and DJ’s performing from their couches. I remember being home alone, early in the pandemic, and listening to a DJ set by Diplo. At the end of the set, he said he’d be back next week for more of the same. Then I found D-nice’s Club Quarantine. During his sets, famous people would come in like Jodi Watley and Michelle Obama. Being in virtual space, dancing to the same songs, and blowing off steam together from the same global catastrophe felt like we were connected. Through the shared experience of the pandemic and finding ways to connect on social media apps, a virtual world expanded and it felt smaller than the 3D world.

I had a similar experience when famous authors commented back to me personally after I shared my reflections on their book on Instagram. Seal watched my stories a few times, and I was hearing back from renowned singers as well. I couldn’t help but reflect on the experience as a very rare moment in time where we were all home with nothing but time on our hands, and eager for connection.

I previously had a love-hate relationship with social media. I abandoned Facebook long ago and was convinced Instagram was full of narcissists seeking validation. In hindsight, I can see I was judging the entire platform from the outside. After the experiences of 2020 and the virtual social media connections I experienced, I now believe I was projecting my insecurities onto the app. I was also judging other people on the reasons behind their posts. The truth is, we cannot actually know the reason behind why people post, and it doesn’t really matter. I think the less time we spend thinking about what other people are doing and why, the better off we will be.

So, as I began to do more healing work with therapists and coaches, I start taking more risks with my self-expression. I began to share more on Instagram as an outlet for human connection as I was quarantining solo. I have a lot of empathy for people who quarantined on their own, since many of us suffered from a lack of human touch and various other mental illnesses. In my case, as I used my time for creative outlets and spiritual practices, I found myself thriving. As a recovering over-functioning co-dependent, I would have normally been over giving in my relationships in an attempt to control situations. I didn’t know I was doing this, since the maladaptive behavior imbedded seamlessly into my personality. When I was stuck in a situation with no one to give to but myself, I started treating myself really good for the first time in my life. My energy was home with me, and the best way to help others was to check in, but certainly not to commit to plans or get together. So, I got to have the experience of boundaries before I even knew what they were. I was thriving in this environment of having said “no,” without having to actually say it.

As a side effect of solitude, inner work, and self-care, I began to feel more at home in my body. I experienced a desire to express myself and share more with the world in a way I had not experienced it before. It now felt as if it was part of my duty to share my thoughts and ideas so they could go out and be a part of the great web of influence and change. I had the realization that I am the only one who has these ideas. I am the only me.

The same goes for you and everyone on the planet. Do you know the sequence of seemly random events that it took to get you here? I’m not just talking about he sperm and the egg. I’m talking about the Earth our galaxy and solar system. Michael Singer, in his podcast episode, The Untethered Soul in Action, has an entire segment explaining how the Earth is 5 billion years old and through a host of adaptations, evolutions, erruptions, super novae and a long, long time, it is an absolute miracle that any of us are here. The way he describes the formation of the Earth and all the sequences of events that got us here is definitely worth the listen. The point is, it is is a miracle that people, especially the seemingly random ones, cross our paths after 500 billion years of evolution. We just happen to be alive at the same time and now we are colliding? Whether you are spiritual or not, this idea of looking at life is mind-blowing and causes a deep sense of appreciation for my life and everyone elses. If we are miracles and we have a rare opportunity to be alive, it is our duty to find out who we are and let that inform our passions.

I started feeling like expressing myself more. I also unfollowed any social accounts that didn’t make me feel good. I imagine I can feel the intention of their post and any attention seekers were gone. I began following coaches, therapists, and artists who inspired me. Before long, I’m posting and sharing things that my past self would have totally judged as being self-centered.

The truth is, I did get self-centered! For the first time, I got all the negative people out of my space, created boundaries, rested, and delved into creative projects. As I started feeling better and sharing more, I began connecting more with like-minded people. I realized that the scared, uncertain, judgmental self misses out on so much connection as a result of their fears. In a protracted state, they don’t share, or they share a limited version of themselves they think others will relate to. But what if you’re just sharing what you want to share for you because you like it? Or, what if you’re sharing wisdom and knowledge to create supportive growth-minded communities? The power of this technology to bring people together is limitless. We can literally connect with anyone over a shared interest no matter space and time. We are officially in the future.

There has been no other time where this type of connection was possible. The potential for meeting people to collaborate on creative projects is limitless. This whole topic excites me to no end. But it often makes me reflect on the former self who was not in the game. She was too afraid of what people would think of her. Too afraid to take the risk to express herself. I don’t judge her because even she was a beautiful soul doing the best she could at the time. I had to experience both of these extremes in order to feel the difference between a scared self and a liberated self. The liberated self is in the game and ready to connect, share, and contribute her gifts to the world.

I know social media gets a bad wrap and can be harmful for people who do not have healthy boundaries in relationship to it. But we can’t throw out this amazing tool because our society has not figured out how to use it. Parents, teachers, educators, therapists and coaches, it’s our job to help people build the self-esteem in order to use social media in a way that is healthy and inspiring.

If you are not sharing on social media and you want to, feel free to reach out to me.